MOONDROP Aria Snow Edition Review: These $79 IEM Earphones Are Enchanting!

Moondrop Aria Snow Edition Diamond-Like Diaphragm Dynamic Driver In-Ear Earphone

$79.99
Moondrop Aria Snow Edition Diamond-Like Diaphragm Dynamic Driver In-Ear Earphone
7.7

Build

8.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Sound

7.0/10

What We Dig

  • Beautiful Design
  • Great Build Quality
  • Natural Detailed Sound

What To Think About

  • Bass Is A Little Thin

TL;DR

The Aria Snow Edition has great build quality, a comfortable fit, and smooth open sonics for a great price. However those who like a lot of Bass may find them a little thin.

Intro

When Moondrop released the original Aria IEM, it was seen as a benchmark in the budget earphone space, as it had a quality aluminum build and refined tuning for only $80. They have since proven they could take that same formula and make an even more affordable IEM with the $20 Chu, which I recently reviewed and enjoyed.

Now Moondrop has returned with an update to the Aria, called the Aria Snow Edition. It also retails for $80, but this time they went with a brilliant silver color scheme instead of the original black, changed the cable, and updated the driver and tuning to improve upon the previous model.

At first glance, the results are striking, but I’m sure many are wondering, is it better than the original? Unfortunately, I’ve never heard the first Aria, so I will review the Snow Edition on the merits and compare it to the earphones I have listened to, like the recently reviewed Salnotes Dioko. So is the Moondrop Aria Snow Edition worth your hard-earned cash? Read on, and I’ll let you know the scoop!

Disclaimer: The Moondrop Aria Snow Edition was sent to us by Hifigo.com for an honest, unbiased review. If you like what you see, head on over there and check this IEM out!

What’s In The Box

As expected for the price point, you don’t get much stuff in the box, but you get what counts. That would be a nice little zippered carrying case that should offer decent protection, a quality silver-plated cable with a clear plastic jacket, and two sets of silicone ear tips.

Included in the two sets of ear tips is one set of Moondrop’s Spring silicone tips which are super comfortable. In addition, you get the obligatory instruction manual. Everything comes in one of the most beautiful boxes I’ve ever seen, especially at this price point.

Regarding the cable, it’s somewhat tangle-prone due to its thinness, but the plastic jacket makes it easy to remove any kinks.

Build/Features

As stated earlier, the Aria Snow edition replaces the Black color scheme of the original model with a brilliant silver finish, which is embossed with an alluring snowflake pattern, an attractive theme also carried across the case and packaging.

The size and shape of the Snow Edition earpieces are identical to the earlier Aria, as is the two-pin connector for the included cable. I’m not a big fan of standard two-pin setups (I prefer the protected QDC connector), but it’s ten times better than the MMCX connection, so I commend them for not using that.

New 10mm drivers with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) Diaphragms are inside the earpieces. They’re derived from Moondrop’s now discontinued $180 Kanas Pro IEM and intended to provide more refinement and detail to the new Aria vs. the old model, especially in the low end.

That new refinement is also aided by Moondrop’s proprietary VDSF tuning, which can be described as a neutral take on the Harman Target, a tuning or frequency response curve recognized as pleasing to the majority of listeners.

From my understanding, that’s a departure from the approach taken with the original Aria, which is described as having a slightly warmer sound than the VDSF-based earphones like the Chu or Aria Snow Edition.

As far as wearability goes, I found the Aria Snow Edition quite comfortable with relatively compact earpieces that fit my ears like a glove. The Spring tips were also super soft, which made them very comfortable during long listening sessions. Additionally, the memory wire at the end of the cable does an excellent job of keeping the earphones secure as it curls around the ear.

Specs

  • Impedance: 32Ω±15%. 
  • Sensitivity: 119dB. 
  • Frequency Response Range: 15Hz-50kHz. 
  • Effective Frequency response range: 20Hz-20kHz.

Sound

For my sound tests, I connected the Aria Snow earphones to my Fiio M11 Plus digital audio player and played some test tracks from my TIDAL account. These IEMs are super sensitive, so the Fiio had no issue driving them on the low gain setting. At the end of the day, you should be able to drive them from any portable device, but they scale nicely with quality sources.

A principal premise behind the Aria Snow Edition is a faithful representation of Moondrop’s VDSF target response curve, which in turn should give it a more balanced sound than the original Aria. While I haven’t heard the first Aria, I can say that the Snow Edition is a very balanced earphone that some may feel is too flat, especially on the bottom end.

That said, it has a nice gentle, airy sound through the mids and treble with plenty of detail and no distracting harshness. It also has a nice open sound with a wide soundstage and focused imaging.

The Bass on the Aria Snow has a lot of depth in the sub-bass region but lacks some punch and bass dynamics which becomes evident on tracks dependent on heavy bass rhythms. However, on acoustic-based genres like Jazz, Blues, or Pop, the bass is fast and articulate, which brings out the natural timbre of bass guitar, upright bass, etc.

When it comes to Midrange, there’s a slightly forward yet natural quality to it, which gives an organic timbre to vocals and instruments. On the other hand, there’s also a fine grain to it that you won’t hear on more expensive earphones. That said, it’s not something I found overly distracting, so I would rate the mids to be good overall.

Regarding the treble, I found it to be really sweet and very well done, providing lots of air and top end detail without sounding hard or overly metallic.

Vs. 7Hz x Crinacle Salnotes Dioko

I made a quick A-B-A comparison between the Aria Snow Edition and the 7Hz x Crinacle Salnotes Dioko which sells for $100 or roughly $20 more than the Moondrop earphone. I have to say I found the Dioko to be the more well-rounded earphone, providing better dynamics, bass punch, and depth than the Snow Edition IEM. In addition, it sounded more even and worked with more genres from my perspective.

Conversely, the Salnote Dioko is a Planar Earphone, so if you don’t like its metallic planar “twang,” plus you listen mainly to acoustic material, you may enjoy the more organic sound of the Aria Snow Edition’s Dynamic driver.

The Wrap Up

To sum up, the Aria Snow Edition has a neutral, spacious sound with good detail and a slightly forward perspective that puts you in the front row of the concert. If you listen to a lot of bass-driven music, you may find it a little flat on the low end, but for those who play a lot of blues, jazz, and the like, you may appreciate the engaging and organic performance of this IEM. In addition, it’s pretty comfortable and easy to wear, which makes it an intriguing option for 80 bucks.

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